Patient Advocacy Program
The Patient Advocacy Program is a point of contact and resource coordinator for patients prescribed controlled substance medications who abruptly lost access to care.
Additionally, the Patient Advocacy Program connects with patients to learn more about concerns related to the prescribing of opioids and other controlled substances, access to prescriptions, and barriers to finding a doctor. The Program communicates patient feedback with internal and external stakeholders to inform coordinated, patient-centered healthcare in Pennsylvania.
Patients with questions or feedback may contact the Patient Advocacy Program by emailing
firstname.lastname@example.org or calling
Please note, patients may choose to remain anonymous and are not required to share personal information such as their healthcare provider's name or prescription history. In addition, the Patient Advocacy Program does not have access to the Prescription Drug Monitoring Program system and will only know medical or prescription history if the patient chooses to share that information.
Where Patients Can Seek Care
When patients suddenly lose access to their healthcare provider, they may feel they have no other options but to turn to other sources to avoid withdrawals.
We want you to know help is available.
The following steps are recommended to patients to access care when they suddenly lose a healthcare provider:
- Contact your primary care provider to discuss next steps in your care.
- If you do not have a primary care provider, locate one by calling the number on the back of your health insurance card.
Alternatively, you may consider visiting a Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC) in your area for healthcare services or for help obtaining health insurance. FQHCs provide services to everyone regardless of ability to pay. To find a health center near you visit:
When a patient who has been treated with opioids or benzodiazepines suddenly loses access to a healthcare provider, the patient is at risk of medication withdrawal if care is not reestablished.
Patients at high risk of withdrawal can contact their local Single County Authority (SCA) to learn more about treatment services, including options for safely and comfortably detoxing.
Look up the SCA in your county here.
Avoid Opioid Overdose
Naloxone can reverse an opioid overdose and is available through a state-wide standing order, which means you do not need a prescription. Most pharmacies carry naloxone. For more information, visit:
Help is available for those battling substance use disorder.
Call the Get Help Now Hotline at 1-800-662-4357 or visit ddap.pa.gov for treatment information.
The Patient Advocacy Program involves the collaboration of multiple agencies including the Pennsylvania Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs, Pennsylvania Insurance Department, Pennsylvania Department of Human Services, Pennsylvania Association of Community Health Centers, Pennsylvania Office of Attorney General, and Pennsylvania Department of State.